Anil Kumble likely to be offered role of Team India Director
Discussions are in advanced stages to hand over Kumble the new role by April 14th.
What’s the story?
Team India’s head coach Anil Kumble is likely to be elevated to the role of the team’s Director. The decision has come after the Committee of Administrators (CoA) decided to change the structure of power in the coaching circles in such a way that it matches the hierarchy of the English and Wales Cricket Board.
“We need to move ahead with the times and that is why these structural changes are looked at. If it happens, Indian cricket will benefit, as one person will handle all the teams and there will be better coordination between all concerned. The plan is already in place and there is a strong possibility that when new contracts are given out, these changes will be made”, a source close to The Indian Express said.
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Kumble took over as the coach of the Indian Team just before the tour of the West Indies in June last year, and has been admirably handling the team in all formats of the game. Under his tutelage, the team has had a scintillating run in Tests, first beating the Windies, and following it with twin wins against New Zealand and England at home.
Under him, Virat Kohli has blossomed both as a captain and player, becoming the first batsman in the history of the game to score a double hundred in four consecutive Test series. The 28-year old heaped praise on the coach recently, stating how the former captain’s fighting spirit has rubbed onto the team.
The heart of the matter
While Kumble’s appointment as Team Director might be a good decision to rejig the system, it is not the only thing that is set to change. The Cricket Advisory Committee, featuring Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly, could be brought into action once again. Their previous role had been to prune the list of potential candidates and find the best suitor for the coach’s job last year, a role that they gave to their former India teammate.
The source added that Indian cricket will benefit from the changes because one person will be in charge of handling all the teams, which would result in improved coordination and ease of working. There are chances of rolling out the changes as soon as the next set of contracts are released.
If Kumble does get the new role, the Australia series could be his last one in the capacity of a ‘coach’, per se. There are also talks of elevating Rahul Dravid to the senior team, from his current role as the coach of the India-A and U-19 sides. If Kumble takes over the role of the Director, and decides not to travel with the side, Dravid might be promoted to a post closer to what Kumble currently handles.
While the CoA might have given time to Kumble to decide on his exact designation in the Indian team for the future, it is still unclear whether the 46-year old will have to handle the dual responsibility of being both the coach and director of the side. Yet, given India’s next assignment after the current series is going to be the Champions Trophy in June, the break in the middle is ideal time to decide on the course of action. Since there is too much workload on Kumble, delegating the power won’t be such a bad option.